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​​​Classes:

taught by area experts

 make applied science fun

  hands-on        tactile

oriented around group discussions


 Schedule of upcoming events:


    


























Previous Events:

Regenerative Agriculture and Sustainable Gardening

North Mountain Park, Ashland Oregon
Tuesday  February 26    5:30—7:30pm    15 & Up      $20
Rhianna Simes, M.S.Ed.  



Wine From Honey: Making Mead, Metheglin & Melomel

Instructor: K. Ruby Blume
Location: Verdant Phoenix Barn (RSVP for directions)
Cost:  $30-50 sliding scale* 
Late November:  Registration/RSVP requested 

please call or e-mail: Rhianna Simes  Verdantphoenixfarm@gmail.com  (541) 821-0203

Learn to brew your own delightful honeywine!  Tradition has it that the term “honeymoon” refers to the month after the wedding where the new couple imbibed honeywine to enhance the romance! Also called Mead, this traditional drink is made from water, honey and yeast with other fruits and spices added in to enhance the pleasure in drinking it. In this class we will learn the basic process of making wine from honey including equipment, ingredients and fermentation techniques, tips, tricks and troubleshooting, Emphasis is on making wines with natural ingredients instead of chemicals and a range of brew-styles from simple to technical will be presented. We will start one batch and taste several others



*Sliding scale explained:
Sliding scale gives you the option to pay what you feel you can afford along a scale of what the teacher thinks reasonable for their work. It is an honor system, so please honor the teachers by being as generous as you can. As a guideline, the bottom end of the scale is for folks who regularly struggle to come up with their rent/mortgage.  The top end of the scale is for those who regularly spend more than $40 on a meal or vacation outside the country.  If both extremes describe you, please pay somewhere in the middle. If neither describes you, pay somewhere in the middle. Scholarships may be available for those truly in need, please inquire.

About K. Ruby Blume:
I am an artist, educator, homesteader and author with a wide variety of skills including growing and preserving food, beekeeping, cheese making, canning,  mosaic , ceramic and fiber arts. I am founder and director of the Institute of Urban Homesteading (Oakland, CA) one of the first urban agriculture education projects in the country and co-author of the book Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living. After 15 years homesteading the city, I now steward 22 acres in Southern Oregon where I maintain 100 fruit trees, 200 Dahlias, medicinal and culinary gardens, sheep, bees, rabbits, chickens, and geese. 


​​WINTER OPEN HOUSE EVENTS


Solstice Celebration & Craft Sale @ Verdant Phoenix Barn

Friday December 21, 4pm -8pm

​please call or e-mail: Rhianna Simes  Verdantphoenixfarm@gmail.com  (541) 821-0203


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Sample of Past Classes:


Beyond Organic: Alternatives to chemical Pesticides

Become familiar with holistic management tools for your garden and home landscape that will keep you and the environment safe. This is a hands-on class that will provide tangible solutions for everyday horticultural issues including earwig damage, weeds in the paths, and deer browsing. Please register online or call the NMP Nature Center at 541-488-6606.

WHO: A home gardener with an organic focus

WHAT: Learn how to deal with weeds, insects and other problems in the garden, without the use of chemical pesticides.

INSTRUCTOR: Rhianna Simes worked for 10 years as an instructor with the OSU Extension Service, including 3 years with the OSU Jackson County Master Gardeners, coordinating the educational program and Plant Clinic. She holds Masters Degrees in Education and Botany.


AGES     15 & up

DAY        Thursday

DATE     June 7

TIME      5:30-7:30pm

PLACE   NMP Nature Center

COST     $25


- - - -



Eat it, sip it, plant it, learn all about it – the Mint family

Explore with all of your senses, the plant families that impact our lives. With tasty relatives like lavender, oregano, sage, and more, we will drink and eat our way to a better botanical understanding and appreciation of the Mint family (Lamiaceae) in our lives and in our landscapes.  Propagation, care and Oregon natives  will also be covered.   Bring something to share. Please register online or call the NMP Nature Center at 541-488-6606.

WHO: Beginners and plant nerds are welcome.

WHAT: A botanical and culinary exploration of plants in the Mint family (Lamiaceae).


INSTRUCTOR: Rhianna Simes worked for 10 years as an instructor with the OSU Extension Service, including 3 years with the OSU Jackson County Master Gardeners, coordinating the educational program and Plant Clinic. She holds Masters Degrees in Education and Botany.

AGES     15 & up

DAY        Thursday or Saturday

DATE     June 5 or 23

TIME      6/5; 5:30-7:30pm. 6/23; 10am-Noon

PLACE   NMP Nature Center

COST     $30 (includes snacks)


                                                                                         - - - -

Homemade Herbal Soaps @ Verdant Phoenix

In this class we’ll earn the cold process method of making soap. You’ll learn about the different types of bar soaps, how to balance your fats and alkalines, attributes of different plant oils, and fun things to add for various benefits like exfoliation or extra moisturizing. Then we’ll walk through the process of making a batch of soap. We’ll learn techniques for measuring and mixing, how to safely work with sodium hydroxide (lye), options for molding and details of the curing process . As an extra bonus we’ll see how to turn these cold process bar soaps into liquid hand soap or shower gel, and you’ll go home with a couple bars of your own personalized soap, handouts and recipes.

Date: Saturday June 16, 10am-1pm
Location: Verdant Phoenix Barn
Cost: $35-75 sliding scale
$12 supply fee to be brought the day of class (do not include in your sliding scale  payment)

Please e-mail VerdantPhoenixFarm@gmail.com to register. Please include your contact information for confirmation and directions to Verdant Phoenix Barn (located between Phoenix and Talent).

 Instructor: K.Ruby Blume is an educator, gardener, beekeeper, artist, and homesteader. A life-long learner and enthusiastic generalist, she has studied everything from sheep shearing to sewing machine repair and has taught herself canning, fermentation and cheesemaking, as well as how to set tile, install a sink, wire an outlet, tend a beehive and repair a motorcycle. Ruby holds certificates in permaculture design, massage, coaching and sheep shearing. She has studied native plants, botany, pollination ecology, soil ecology and micro-biology.  She has extensive experience in the arts including work with ceramic, mosaic, glass, textile, printmaking, puppetry,  assemblage, and photography.  Ms Blume co-founded the art-for-social-change project, Wise Fool Puppet Intervention, bringing giant puppets and theatre to the streets throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.  In 2008 she founded The Institute of Urban Homesteading, a school of skills based sustainability education located in Oakland, CA.  With Rachel Kaplan she co-authored the book Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living. Ruby currently lives on 22 acres in Southern Oregon where she tends fruit trees, vegetables, medicinal & culinary herbs, extensive flower collections, rabbits, chickens, pigeons, doves, finches, cats, dogs, betta fish, sheep, a cow and 500,000 bees.



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Eat it, sip it, plant it, learn all about it – the Rose family

Explore with all of your senses, the plant families that impact our lives. With juicy relatives like strawberries, apples, marionberries and more, we will drink and eat our way to a better botanical understanding and appreciation of the Rose family (Rosaceae) in our lives and in our landscapes.  Propagation, care and Oregon natives  will also be covered.  Bring something to share. Please register online or call the NMP Nature Center at 541-488-6606.

WHO: Beginners and plant nerds are welcome.

WHAT: A botanical and culinary exploration of plants in the Rose family (Rosaceae).


INSTRUCTOR: Rhianna Simes worked for 10 years as an instructor with the OSU Extension Service, including 3 years with the OSU Jackson County Master Gardeners, coordinating the educational program and Plant Clinic. She holds Masters Degrees in Education and Botany.

AGES     15 & up

DAY        Thursday or Saturday

DATE     July 18 or 28

TIME      7/18; 5:30-7:30pm. 7/28; Noon-2pm

PLACE   NMP Nature Center

COST     $30 (includes snacks)



Eat it, sip it, plant it, learn all about it – the Bean family

Explore with all of your senses, the plant families that impact our lives. With tasty and helpful relatives like alfalfa, runner beans, favas and more, we will drink and eat our way to a better botanical understanding and appreciation of the Bean family (Fabaceae) in our lives and in our landscapes.  Propagation, care and Oregon natives  will also be covered.  Beginners and plant nerds are all welcome. Bring something to share. Please register online or call the NMP Nature Center at 541-488-6606.

WHO: Beginners and plant nerds are welcome.

WHAT: A botanical and culinary exploration of plants in the Bean family (Fabaceae).


INSTRUCTOR: Rhianna Simes worked for 10 years as an instructor with the OSU Extension Service, including 3 years with the OSU Jackson County Master Gardeners, coordinating the educational program and Plant Clinic. She holds Masters Degrees in Education and Botany.

AGES     15 & up

DAY        Thursday or Saturday

DATE     Aug 2 or 4

TIME      8/2; 6-8pm. 8/4; 10am-Noon

PLACE   NMP Nature Center

COST     $30 (includes snacks)


Clay soil support group and problem-solving

Walk away with tangible suggestions to help your soil grow into rich, dark earth. Folks who don’t have clay soil but who have questions about creating healthy soil are also welcome. Bring samples of your soil. Please register online or call the NMP Nature Center at 541-488-6606.

WHO: A home gardener looking for soil savvy

WHAT: Learn how to grow healthy soil – even if you have heavy clay!


INSTRUCTOR: Rhianna Simes worked for 10 years as an instructor with the OSU Extension Service, including 3 years with the OSU Jackson County Master Gardeners, coordinating the educational program and Plant Clinic. She holds Masters Degrees in Education and Botany.

AGES     15 & up

DAY        Tuesday or Saturday

DATE     Aug 14 or 25

TIME      8/14; 5:30-7:30pm. 8/25; 10am-Noon

PLACE   NMP Nature Center

COST     $25

 Verdant Phoenix Teaching Facility:

Our urban mini-farm offers teaching gardens, a propagation greenhouse, and natural farming-styled landscape grounds that serve as a botanical feast for guests.
Classes take place in our urban barn turned school-house.